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discussion response 500 words ana wk 7

500 word discussion response, 2 sources. 250 word response per numbered paragraph below, 1 source each.

1

It would be ignorant to say that the threats we face at the Southwest Border halt there and do now flow into our country. According to the article “ A Line in the Sand”, the cartels now have a presence in more than 1,000 U.S. cities and are responsible for the wholesale illicit drug trade (King & Thompson, 2012). Yet it is not only the host nation who is damaged by the overtaking of drug cartels in their region, but the national security of bordering nations is also in danger. Just in 2018, over 33,000 murders shocked Chicago, which is known to be the hub for the Sinaloa Cartel (Davis, 2019). All in all, America has faced an overdose epidemic largely due to the drug smuggling coming through Mexico, which has left millions addicted and countless dead.

The global impact of transnational criminal organizations on the overall well-being of the nation has become so severe that crime rates have led to President Trump declaring in November 2019 that he plans to designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations (Allyn, 2019). Such a designation could lead to the movement of military personnel into the country or the use of drones to target cartel members, which could implicate retaliation of the cartel against the US. In August 2018, Los Angeles authorities seized approximately $1.42 million worth of methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, all of which appear to be linked to Mexican Drug Cartels (De Lea, 2018). The significance in the latter amount is the fact that it was one drug bust, it does not include other million-dollar operations taking place in other sites throughout the country. The cartel is also connected to the trafficking of weapons, where in October of 2018, $10 million worth of drugs and weapons were also seized in California (De Lea, 2018). Court documents revealed that in 2014, the cartel had control of cocaine transportation ranging from South America to Canada.

However, Mexican drug cartels and the violence directly reflecting off such operations is not the only threat along the Southwest Border, terror organizations have become a growing threat and concern as they exploit the Southwest border. Another concern is that of al Qaeda operatives blending in with American society to smuggle in material like uranium into the country, which can be safely assembled as a weapon of mass destruction. There is a wide range of possibilities as to what those attempting to cross our border intend to do once they have reached our land. Domestic terrorism can also evolve from operatives to intend to start an organization in the U.S. The radicalization of U.S. citizens is also a possibility. The radicalization process of individuals into extremist groups can occur for different reasons and most likely to a point in their life where there is a lack of direction or purpose. When this occurs, individuals are vulnerable to doctrines that false use either religious material to draw in members of society that can easily be persuaded into the organization and seek shelter where they are needed and have a greater purpose. It is a proactive, not reactive approach to domestic extremists’ group that will prove itself to be an effective tactic when it relates to future trends, especially when it comes to lone-wolf actors, who are difficult to target to the loose relations to the organization yet are willing to kill for their purpose.

2

Over a century ago before the U.S. launched its war on drugs abroad, America inaugurated a domestic war on drugs. Abroad, military force and violence are deployed against peasant farmers who grow opium, coca, and cannabis to support their families. The fight against drug-related violence and terror on the Southwest Border of the United States has been targeted by increased security measures to include drones and border patrol agents. Domestically, police operations and imprisonment are directed against drug users, most of whom never commit violent crimes (Noble, 2010). However, both wars have disproportionately targeted the poorest and the lowest level participants in the narcotics commerce such as farmers who grow coca, opium, and cannabis to feed their families. Domestically in our country, we are seeing hundreds of thousands of prisoners who fill the prisons, a strategy that has led to privatized prison systems, where the only ones who benefit are those who profit. Drug consumption in the U.S. though that not decreased and neither has the smuggling of drugs into the country due to such enforcement policies.

The three points keyed in on by Kingpins and corruption focus first off on the ability of organized criminal organizations to degrade democratic organizations and the rule of law while restricting economic growth and undermining legitimate commerce and investment (Madison, 2017). The second point is one I truly believe makes the most proactive sense in its approach. The author states that there needs to be a greater focus from policymakers to effectively combat trafficking networks. Hence why a new policy will push towards more punitive sentences for large scale dealers instead of consumers many of which have never committed other crimes. According to the Institute for Policy Studies, over 400,000 persons are currently imprisoned for drug offenses at an annual cost exceeding $8 billion (“U.S. Drug Policy – Institute for Policy Studies,” n.d.). The policy would enable a reduction in sentences that will result in more funds available for border enforcement and technological advances at ports of entry that scan shipments and can detect large amounts of narcotics. Harsh penalties and sentences will be placed on corrupt border officials that allow armed groups to traffic weapons and other commodities with impunity and extort customs fees at border crossings for personal gain. Lastly, the third key point encourages our government to engage with regional allies to create a movement against transnational organized crime. While our current administration has done this by working to enhance enforcement capabilities and promoting economic development, the results have not met the expectations. U.S. training provided by border patrol agents is vital to ensuring that Mexican federal police officers are given the tools necessary to combat the violence that breeds from cartels. Weakness against organized crime proves to both the community and the cartel that they still pose over the government, which is why training needs to be tailored to simulate circumstances such as a siege, where weapons are included in the equation. When all else fails, imposing heavy sanctions and tariffs is also an alternative. In 2019 President Trump shared the plan to impose tariffs on Mexican goods due to the large influx of migrants coming through the southwestern border, yet an agreement was reached with the Mexican government and such actions were never taken (Shear, Swanson, & Ahmed, 2019). Such a decision would prove to be less warlike yet damaging to supply chains and both economies since Mexico is one of the United States’ prime trading partners. Nevertheless, Mexico president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s administrative decision to focus on reducing homicide rates over the apprehension of cartel leaders has proved to be ineffective. Imposing tariffs would be challenging to the U.S. economy, yet it would place pressure on the Mexican government to reconsider its priorities when it comes to reducing the number of narcotics being illegally smuggled into the U.S. The Mexican government responded to U.S. pressures by dispersing its national guard to prevent increased illegal immigration into the country

References

Allyn, B. (2019, November 27). Trump Floating Terrorist Label For Mexican Cartels Brings Fears Of Drone Strikes. NPR Politics-Latin America. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2019/11/27/783371799/trump-flo…

Davis, S. (2019, November 5). Mexico’s rampaging drug cartels are a huge problem for the United States. The New York Post. Retrieved from https://nypost.com/2019/11/05/mexicos-rampaging-dr…

De Lea, B. (2018, November). El Chapo’s billion-dollar Sinaloa Cartel carries on without him. Fox Business. Retrieved from https://www.foxbusiness.com/features/el-chapos-bil…

King, P. T., & Thompson, B. G. (2012). A Line in the Sand: Countering Crime, Violence and Terror at the Southwest Border. Nova Science Publishers, 7(1). Retrieved from http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy1.apus.edu/ehost…

Madison, K. D. (2017). Kingpins and corruption: Targeting transnational organized crime in the Americas | American Enterprise Institute – AEI. Retrieved from https://www.aei.org/research-products/report/kingp…

Noble, R. (2010). The Globalization of Crime A Transnational Organized Crime Threat Assessment “A ground-breaking assessment of transnational organized crime activities that INTERPOL will use in its work.” Retrieved from https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/…

Shear, M. D., Swanson, A., & Ahmed, A. (2019, June 7). Trump Calls Off Plan to Impose Tariffs on Mexico – The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/07/us/politics/tru…

U.S. Drug Policy – Institute for Policy Studies. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ips-dc.org/us_drug_policy/

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